A Time to Help, A Time to Heal
Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda, as it is called in the Philippines, started to form on November 3, 2013 and evolved into a super typhoon several days later. The highest wind speeds measured in at 195 kph with over 1,800 confirmed deaths and about 10,000 left undocumented. The super typhoon destroyed USD858.60 million dollars in properties and produce including substantial damage to livelihoods. The affected areas include China, Vietnam, Micronesia, and the Philippines—the last being the most devastated of them all. Haiyan is the strongest pacific typhoon ever recorded counting as a tropical cyclone.
The most decimated provinces in the Philippines are Leyte and Samar with six accounted landfalls in a span of 12 hours. Aside from strong winds, Yolanda also brought about heavy rains that easily led to flooding. For areas that were near coastlines, waves as much as six meters in height were recorded during the rampage.
The effects of the typhoon were so strong that even reinforced buildings like the primary airport in Tacloban were destroyed. In this particular location, apart from demolished buildings, Yolanda also brought about destruction in the streets. Trees were knocked down and so were power lines. Residential buildings were as easily destroyed with inhabitants either injured or trapped for dead.
Over a thousand people in Tacloban alone were recorded dead only after several hours. Samar was not far behind with an initial death toll of 800. The super typhoon led to an estimated destruction of up to 80% of both provinces. The storm has officially left the Philippines’ area of responsibility but these provinces remain under a state of calamity with more people being proclaimed dead every minute and numerous families still lost in the wreckage. News is sparse but sought-after. Several images of the super typhoon have trended online including the dreadful capture of the dead sprawled unto city streets.
— AFP Photo Department (@AFPphoto) November 15, 2013
Communication towers have since been restored but the reach is still limited. Plenty of people have been left with zero food, clothing, shelter, and most of them are still in the search for their loved ones. There have been constant relief efforts during the past couple of days but cases of hijacking and looting have been reported.